What to do in Washington D.C.
Washington D.C. is the United States capital and it’s located on the east side of the country, in the margins of Potomac river. D.C. is home of the three American powers: The Executive, the Legislative and the Judiciary. It is also home for several important international organizations, such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and the Organization of American States (OAS).
How to get there?
If you are already in another major American city, getting to D.C. is very easy. Besides the traditional flight options, there are buses departing from other cities, such as New York, and an efficient rail network that will get you there. If you are departing from NYC, trains are probably your best option. Amtrak offers a very good service, with daily trains departing from Penn Station (NYC) and arriving at Union Station (D.C.) on a three hours trip. The trains are all equipped with Wi-Fi.
If you are coming from a city like New York where you can practically find a subway station in every corner, you’ll definitely feel the difference. Unlike NYC, the subway system in Washington can’t take you to all the places of the city you might want to visit, although it can take you to the major touristic attractions.
Although, this is an awesome opportunity for you to get to know the city in a different way. Give yourself the chance to walk through the city’s avenues and streets full of trees and experience all of D.C. has to offer you. And if you ever get tired of walking, you can always rent a bike, take a cab or use the bus system in case you don’t find a Metro station nearby.
The National Mall is probably where most of the pictures of D.C. you’ve seen were taken. It’s the most touristic part of the city and it includes a large number of famous attractions like the White House, The Washington Monument, the Capitol, The Lincoln Memorial, The Jefferson Memorial, The World War II Memorial and many others.
This is a 3km park that goes from the United States Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial. Be prepared if you are planning on going during a hot season, since the temperatures can get really high and the attractions really crowded.
If you like shopping Friendship Heights is the place you should go. The neighborhood is easily accessed by Metro and busses and it compiles all of the famous department stores like H&M, Bloomingdale’s, T.J. Maxx, Nordstrom Rack, DSW and The Container Store. There are also some great restaurant options like Clyde’s, The Capital Grill and The Cheesecake Factory.
Georgetown is a historical neighborhood located next to the Potomac river. In the past, the Waterfront area, which now is a beautiful park with lots of restaurants alongside the river, used to be a harbor. This neighborhood also houses the Georgetown University and many country embassies. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to get there by subway, but there are lots of bus lines that can take you there.
Take a moment to walk through the Waterfront and Wisconsin Avenue, where you will find most of the stores, such as Abercrombie & Fitch and Apple Store. You will also find lots of cool restaurants, bars and ice cream stores as you walk through Wisconsin Avenue.
If you are a museum fan you will definitely freak out when you see how many interesting and free museums there are in D.C. Many museums belong to the Smithsonian Institute, an educational organization sponsored by the United States Government, and they are all free.
The list of Washington’s free attractions can be found at: https://washington.org/find-dc-listings/free-attractions
Take a moment to go to the American History, the Holocaust and the Air and Space Museums. All of them offer very interesting and educative exhibits.
– Lucca Suassuna de Carvalho